“SoHo Karen” who falsely accused Keyon Harrold Jr. speaks out

Woman who aggressively challenged Black teenager over the theft of her phone from boutique Arlo Hotel says she is worried about her portrayal.


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Woman assaults Black teen
Miya Ponsetto confronts Keyon Harrold Jr. last December in Soho's Arlo Hotel

To be fair, at just 22-years old, she’s a bit young to fit the mold of the typical Karen: a bossy and entitled woman who feels free to challenge the behavior of anyone in her vicinity.

But the way she conducted herself a few days ago certainly seems to make her deserving of the unwanted epithet.

The woman was seen by millions on video falsely accusing a Black jazz musician’s teen son of stealing her cellphone in a posh New York City hotel. Not only did she level the allegation against the 14-year-old, she is seen on the clip assailing the child verbally and, his father alleges, physically assaulting him too.

Unsurprisingly, in a year marked by the rise of the Karen, the woman was instantly dubbed “SoHo Karen” by the Internet amid demands that she be identified.

The woman on Wednesday decided to break her silence by talking to CNN.

She said that she does “worry” about the fallout — but maintains her allegation that she was assaulted during the confrontation.

The 22-year-old said she regretted the incident depicted in the viral video in which she’s seen going off on the boy, Keyon Harrold Jr., in the lobby of SoHo’s Arlo Hotel, claiming that he swiped her iPhone.

SoHo Karen — whose name was withheld by CNN — said that when she realized her phone was missing, she first demanded to see surveillance video from the hotel lobby.

She then asked everyone in the lobby to “empty their pocket,” before settling on Keyon Jr. as her suspect.

“That’s when everything got a little bit more serious,” she told the outlet during a phone interview.

The woman, who on the video appears to be white, then lunged at the teen and his dad, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold Sr., who was defending his son from the accusations.

During a scuffle not fully captured on the video, the elder Harrold has said, the woman scratched him and tackled the teen.

Harrold Sr. said that shortly after the melee, an Uber driver showed up with the woman’s missing phone.

The NYPD has said it plans to hit the woman with charges that could include assault, grand larceny or attempted robbery, while Mayor Bill de Blasio has blasted the run-in as “plain and simple” racism.

“Of course I worry. That’s not who I am,” the woman told CNN when asked if she has concerns about possible criminal charges and her portrayal in the viral clip. “I actually … try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing.”

She told the outlet she is willing to cooperate with an NYPD probe, but has not yet heard from investigators.

The woman added that she’d be open to talking with the Harrolds.

Good luck with that!

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